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J Pharmacol Sci. 2008 Nov;108(3):355-63. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

Nafamostat mesilate, a potent serine protease inhibitor, inhibits airway eosinophilic inflammation and airway epithelial remodeling in a murine model of allergic asthma.

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Laboratory of Pharmacology, Department of Bioactive Molecules, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu, Japan.


To clarify the involvement of serine proteases in the development of allergic airway inflammation, we investigated the effect of nafamostat mesilate, a serine protease inhibitor, in a murine model of allergic asthma. Mice were sensitized to ovalbumin (OA) with alum and then exposed to 1% OA for 30 min, three times every 4th day. Nafamostat mesilate was administered orally for 10 days during the allergen challenge. In sensitized mice, repeated allergen challenge induced an increase in tryptase proteolytic activity in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). In addition, marked increases in the numbers of inflammatory cells, levels of T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokines and eotaxin in BALF, numbers of goblet cells in the epithelium, and level of OA-specific IgE in serum were observed after repetitive allergen inhalation. Treatment with nafamostat mesilate significantly inhibited not only increased proteolytic activities, but also increases in the numbers of eosinophils and lymphocytes in the BALF. Nafamostat mesilate also dose-dependently inhibited increases in the levels of interleukin-13 and eotaxin in BALF and goblet cell hyperplasia. These findings suggest that increased serine protease activity in the airways is involved in the development of antigen-induced allergic eosinophilic inflammation and epithelial remodeling in bronchial asthma.

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